49-year-old Daniel Belling originally from Germany, is accused of killing 38-year-old Xing Li in 2017, while they were on a Mediterranean cruise.
Crew members reported Ms Xing following a routine passenger headcount.
Prosecutors allege that he threw her body into the sea, a claim Mr. Belling adamantly denies.
According to reports in the Italian press, he told an Italian judge that he and his wife had fought and that she wanted to “quit the trip”.
He went on to claim that his wife left the ship when he and the children joined a shore excursion.
Mr Belling described her as a “cruel person” for allowing him to spend 14 months in jail for a crime “she knows I did not commit”.
“I think my wife is most probably in China. There is a small probability something happened her in Greece, but I believe she is in China. I think she knows I have been in jail.”
The accused returned to Ireland in 2018 after 14 months on remand in an Italian jail, after his solicitor persuaded authorities to release him.
In July 2020, Italian investigators announced that their probe into Ms Xing’s disappearance had determined that computer programmer Belling, killed his wife while on the ship and disposed of her body in the sea.
The trial will proceed without the presence of Mr. Belling, as Italian law allows defendants to choose whether or not they attend their trial.